This set of instructions on how to make a Dopero kite assumes you know absolutely nothing about kite making.
You might already have some of the simple tools and materials required. Anything you don't have is easily bought. If not exactly what I used, then at least something pretty similar!
These instructions on how to make a Dopero kite might look a bit long, but each step is quite simple to do. Just steadily work your way through from top to bottom, skimming over any detail that you don't need.
At 29cm (11 1/2") wide, the MBK 1-Skewer Dopero Kite is a rather small kite, with tip dihedral and a 4-leg bridle. If you spend some time tweaking the bridle, this tiny design will fly over a decent range of wind speeds!
1-Skewer kites are fun, but somewhat toy-like :-) due to their rather small size. Fancy something much bigger to fly, suitable for teenagers and adults?
The "Making Skewer Kites" e-book
has plenty of 58cm (23") designs in bamboo skewers and plastic. Plus all the 1-Skewer designs.
A handy approach is to just print out the pages for the kite you want to make next. The e-book is also handy for working off-line on a laptop, tablet or other device.
Now's the time to read up on the 'tools' and materials required for making a Skewer kite, if you haven't already.
The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows...
For this Dopero, you need four 30cm (12") bamboo BBQ skewers for the spars. The photo shows all the spars laid over the sail, before being snipped to length with scissors.
Be careful that the horizontal spars don't slip up or down the vertical spar while the glue is still wet.
The kite should now look like the photo.
All done? Now do it all again to make the other keel!
At this point, you've finished making the 1-Skewer Dopero!
To attach the flying line, just Lark's Head the flying line to the short bridle line.
Before the first flight, you need to adjust the bridle...
Firstly, make sure the sliding knots on the upper and lower bridle loops are dead-center. An easy way to check this is to see if the kite hangs level, when you dangle it from the loop knot at the end of the bridle. Adjust both knots until everything looks square and level.
My collection of real-life Dopero kite stories is worth checking out!
Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.
Secondly, make sure that the sliding knot on the central bridle line ends up between the upper horizontal spar and the top edge of the sail. Check this when the kite is laying on its back on the floor or table, with equal tension in all the bridle lines. Shift the knot if necessary, and hold up the bridle lines again to check. Repeat until it looks right.
If it's very windy outside, stay home! This is a light-to-moderate wind kite and won't like being launched in a gale.
Assuming there is some breeze outside, just dangle the kite at arm's length until the wind catches it. As long as you feel the kite pulling, let out line slowly by taking loop after loop off the winder.
Another approach is to get a helper to hold the kite up and let it go, on the end of maybe 10 or 20 meters (around 50 feet) of line. This way, the kite soon gets high enough to make it easy to let more line out.
The picture up there shows the very first version of the 1-Skewer Dopero
climbing away in a light breeze. The black plastic sail, yellow keels and clear plastic tail made a nice combination!
Have fun flying, and I hope you've enjoyed learning how to make a Dopero kite.
Now, just in case you have actually made and flown this kite at least once already...
You've probably read a kite-flying story or 2 of mine, after they appear under the "what's new?" link on this site. I sometimes wonder if anyone else has made and flown this particular design...
If you feel your efforts really paid off when the the kite finally got airborne - please type a few paragraphs in here telling us all about it!
P.S. I can only accept stories of at least 300 words. Just mention a few details like the weather, onlookers, the kite's behavior and so on - 300 words is easy!
Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...
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